Ship Flying Liberian Flag Seized At Philadelphia Port With 15,500 Kilos Of Cocaine, Worth US$1 Billion On Board

Shipping containers full of illegal drugs have been found and seized by federal authorities at a Philadelphia port in what federal authorities describe as the largest seizure in the region’s history.

The Ship MSC GAYANE is a Container Ship built in 2018 and currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

MSC

A senior law enforcement official said more than 15,500 kilos of cocaine were found in seven containers, which were found aboard a cargo ship, the MSC Gayane, that previously stopped in Colombia, Chile, Panama and the Bahamas.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain said the ship contained enough cocaine to “kill millions of people.”

After a stop in Philadelphia, the ship was scheduled to stop at ports of call in Europe, including in France and The Netherlands.

At least two crew members of the Gayane have been charged with trafficking, according to a complaint filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Other crew members were also allegedly involved, the complaint charges.

Advertisements

23 comments

  • If this ship is not a Liberian owned, why are they flying the country flag??

    Like

    • My brother, that’s the question, and this needs to be investigated throughly.

      Like

      • S. Raymond Bruce Sr.

        Don’t let this worry you, it’s the trading route Columbia to USA. Many flagships are caught in this “criminal cartel cocaine” route.
        Moreover, flying a country’s flag is a maritime responsibility that allows a vessel to operate under that country’s regulations as it relates to vessel construction, maritime safety and defined operational procedures for vessels and crew not below the “Minimum International Standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)”. For information, Liberia ranks high for vessels safety, operational procedural standards and crew competency.

        Liked by 1 person

    • David, Liberia is a part of the international maritime Association. For a vessel to get into international waters, it has to register under a country that is a part of this international body. They pay fees to Liberia maritime and flies the Liberian flag.

      Like

    • That’s a good question, I was just about to ask too.

      Like

    • Emmanuel Dolakeh

      So, the vessel, MSC Gayane, is registered to fly the Liberian flag. It is not owned by Liberia or a Liberian citizen. It is owned and operated by Meridian 7 Ltd and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) respectively. Switzerland is listed as a country of economic benefit. While I have problem with the sensational headline (which is a bad publicity for us), this is completely an illegal act that can occur on any vessel flying any flag, owned by any national or operated by any shipping company. It is not unique to Liberia. Had it been a deficiency concerning maritime safety, marine environmental protection or maritime labor issue on board or involving a Liberian flagged vessel (in contravention of internationally accepted maritime conventions), it would have negatively reflected on our country’s maritime program. But this is a criminal act perpetrated by someone, most likely the cargo owners, with the help of some or all of the crew (most especially the master/captain of the vessel as the leader) and possibly people at the port of loading. The vessel is a new vessel (2018 built) that is operated by MSC, a renowned ship operator, and classed by an elite classification society, DNV GL. The US authorities will investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. While Liberia, as a flag State, will cooperate in such investigation, it has limited or no control over how cargo owners charter a vessel for the transport of their cargoes from one port to another.

      Like

    • Hahah

      Like

  • Because it is registered under our maritime program.

    Like

  • This is a very sad news for our country especially Maritime Liberia. But what remain on clear is was the ship heading to Liberia or was it from Liberia?

    Like

  • Liberia don’t have money to own that kind of ship, even the information is missed leaving and have the primitive to destroy the image of Liberia.

    Like

  • my goodness. poor Liberia. is it true? let the us government find out the owner before people can cry so loud.

    Like

  • James Holder Nuahn

    The shipping company lasiense must be revoked by the Liberian government and take away our Country flag in order to restore the credibility of mama Liberia.
    The government of Liberia can’t be blamed for this act. Because you can’t just see company and called them criminal until such act is committed like what we’re hearing.

    I recommend that on the part of GOL they’re now charged with the responsibility to carry out prompt evaluation in future.

    Like

    • James it doesn’t work like that OK. Liberia don’t have the authority to revoked a shipping company lasiense that is not own by Liberia but rather simple registration under Liberia Maritime authority. They can only stop them of using their flag and water for shipments. Liberia can make a recommendation to the IMO for revoke.

      Like

  • Why Liberia always in the news for the wrong reason ?

    Like

  • The problem is we quick to draw conclusions. Let’s give the United States Authorities chance to investigate and know tell us where the ship got it and where it was heading with this huge illegal substance.

    Thank God it was discovered. Bravo great United States of America.

    Like

  • Stanley M. Freeman

    This activity is an age old problem. There are several ships flying the Liberian flag on the international waters that don’t even have a single Liberian on board but yet they are under Liberian shipping registry.
    This was done mostly during the Barclay and Tubman regimes.

    Like

  • Hi guys,according to Maritime Law,Liberia is just a flag of convenience to MSC Gayane(the ship that was caught) . The issue will be investigated by the proper authority.

    Liked by 1 person

  • What a shame? The only alternative measures for this is impose robust recommendation to IMO for future embarrassment.

    Like

  • James Holder Nuahn

    West, thanks for the clarity in respect to my comment above regarding the matter under discussion.

    Like

  • Theodore G. Lymas Jr

    I trust the US Judiciary system, we will know how this happened..

    Like

  • If I may recommend, the best thing to do or policy to in place is that all ships the fly the Liberian flay should have one or two Liberia in the employ. This will show transparency and given the fact that that person(s) is a Liberian he/she will not accept any bad thing on the ship that flies Liberian(Integrity and love for country will be highly considered by that person(s).

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s